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Arkansas Supreme Court upholds same-sex marriage birth certificate law

[JURIST] The Arkansas Supreme Court [official website] on Thursday overturned [opinion, PDF] a ruling that allowed all married same-sex couples to get the names of both spouses on their child's birth certificate. The court found [AP report] that the law did not violated equal protection by "acknowledg[ing] basic biological truths." The justices found that the state of Arkansas has a vested interest in listing biological parents on birth certificates. The concern by those opposed is that there has never needed to be any proof that the father listed on the birth certificate is the actually biological father. The attorney for the same-sex couples has not yet decided whether to appeal to the US Supreme Court.

The rights of same-sex couples, and same-sex parents in particular, have been particularly contentious of late. In October Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore was removed from the bench [JURIST report] for issuing an order preventing magistrate judges of that state from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, in direct contravention of a federal order requiring same. In September the North Carolina Court of Appeals affirmed [JURIST report] a lower court's dismissal of a claim by two former magistrates that their rights were violated by 2014 guidance memos from the Administrative Office of the Courts that said they could be fired if they refused to perform same-sex marriages. Earlier that month, tens of thousands of people marched in Mexico [JURIST report] to protest a same-sex marriage recognition proposal. In August, the Belize Supreme Court struck down [JURIST report] a law banning sodomy, declaring it unconstitutional and adversely impactful to the LGBT community.

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